You Can Do It!

Written by
Published on April 10, 2016

Many students struggle every day to go to school, while supporting a family or working hard to support themselves. They work 40 hours a week on top of attending classes just to try “to make ends meet.”

Little do they know there is a new program here at Housatonic that can help them. The program is called The Family Economic Security Program.  Started in September of 2015, it is funded by The Fairfield County Community Foundation.

The program acts as an assistance to people who are the head of their household and are trying to work and go to school. They offer scholarships to help support financially which in most situations is very helpful to families. Beyond monetary help they offer counselling as well to help give the best strategies and advice towards succeeding in college and work life.

Independent students are also given the chance to interact with each other and have fun at retreats that are sponsored through the FESP.

The director of FESP,  Alana J. Wiens, said, “The retreats are great because they get to see that there are other students like them and they are not the only one who is a single parent trying to raise a family and get an education.”

Wiens was very enthusiastic about the program adding,“In these retreats everyone connects and becomes a support system to each other.”

Not only was Wiens enthusiastic, her assistant was just as enthusiastic, if not more. Career Development Coordinator of the FESP Widelyne M. Dorelus said, “We play tons of games and we have plenty of fun.” Most of the games they play are centered around getting to know each other because it is an enjoyable way to meet people. Some games like bingo were also mentioned.

There are some needs to qualify, but most head of household students already meet the requirements. You must also meet an income requirement of Pell or standard financial eligibility. You must also have clear career or transfer goals, along with an occupation.

There are a few more requirements to meet and they can be found by going to Lafayette Hall in Room B104. The director can be found there with more information and how to be involved with this program.